Until recently I never bought into the whole tofu burger thing. I mean, can two words be that far apart?
Burger: not very healthy, but delicious, juicy, tasty...in a word, AWESOME.
Tofu: healthy, but blunt, crumbly, tasteless...in three words, NOT REALLY awesome.
Yes, I must confess it: I’m struggling quite a bit with tofu. I mean, great nutrition facts but the taste takes out all the fun from eating (...and for this statement I truly apologize with all you tofu-lovers).
Try asking to a friend/colleague: “Shall we grab a burger for lunch?” -> reaction: smile and probably a “I’m down for it!”
Now try asking him/her instead: “Shall we have some tofu for lunch?” -> reaction: puzzled face and probably a “Really? Tofu?”
I believe that time has come to reverse this train of thoughts, and prove that tofu can be a good and fun thing to eat. And nothing works better in accomplishing such task than creating a tasty tofu burger.
Now, I’ve tried at least 20 different recipes (I’m not kidding) and, none was up to par with the real thing. Fortunately, I found this one on myrecipes. I tried it and it was pretty damn good.
However, I did made some changes, not only to make it more “IronYou” proof, but also to give it a more meat-like taste.
I cooked these tofu burgers two days ago when I invited some friends over for brunch. My homies are those kind of dudes that believe that burger should only be made of meat, and preferably cooked during the summer on a barbecue. But I managed to lured them to my apt, and to give tofu burgers a try.
The response was much more than positive: they capitulated and had to admit that those were pretty incredible burgers.
The taste resembles quite a lot to meat: maybe it’s Worcestershire? Maybe it’s the Dijon mustard? I don’t know yet, but those are some awesomely tasty burger.
They’re easy to make. Few ingredients, a food processor, a couple of pulses, and the job it’s done.
The not-too-simple part is the cooking. Why? Because you have to shape the tofu dough into a patty shape while they’re cooking. I solved the problem by purchasing a micro-pan at a Chinese store for $1. It’s rad, it can fit only one patty at a time, and has a cow’s face in the handle.
When I brought it home, my roomies made fun of me. They started calling me the Iron-dork (I can’t blame them for that). But this pan is just the best thing ever for making these burgers. You just have to pour two tablespoons of dough into the micro-pan and voila’ a perfect tofu burger comes out.
If you don’t have this “magical” pan, don’t worry after few attempts I’m sure y’all become master patties-shapers.
Enough talk...let’s get down to business!
Best Tofu Burger Print this Recipe!
1 block / 1 oz / 300 g firm tofu, drained, patted dry, and sliced
2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)
½ cup / 2 oz / 55 g dried bread crumbs
¼ cup / 1 oz / 22 g grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup / 1 oz / 22 g sunflower seeds
¼ cup / 1 oz / 22 g almonds
½ cup / 2 oz / 55g sliced white button mushrooms (or any other kind of mushroom)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Few drops of Tabasco sauce (optional)
Place the almonds and the sunflower seeds in a food processor (or a blender). Give a few pulses until they’re well ground.
Add all the other ingredients.
Pulse until the mixture comes together and looks pretty smooth.
If it seems a bit thin to you, add more bread crumbs (or Parmesan) until everything comes together.
Pour a tablespoon olive oil into your largest skillet over medium heat. When hot, drop about ¾ cup mixture into the pan. Spread into a patty about 4 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Repeat to form more patties in pan.
Cover, and cook turning once, until deeply browned on both sides. Roughly 10 minutes. You want to make sure the middle of the patties cook through. If the pan is too hot you'll burn the outsides before the middle cooks up, so be mindful of that.
Of, course, if you have the awesome cow-micro-pan, you’ll cook one at a time.
One of the best thing of tofu burgers is that the texture and flavor remain the same even if you heat them up later (in the microwave or in the oven). This means that you can make them ahead and just heat them up when you’re ready to eat.
Serve with your favorite burger fixings. I like to use avocado, sliced cherry tomatoes, shredded lettuce and a touch of yogurt mayo. But standard burger toppings such as ketchup, mustard, onions and pickles work great as well (or maybe, even better).
The Iron You